Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Add Privacy To GTalk Messenger

GTalk Messenger
GTalk is a very useful IM client for chatting. Useful because it's small in size, does not hogs bandwidth like Yahoo! messenger, simple to use and can be used without installing on a computer, so no more pesky warning mails from your sysadmin even though it has some very powerful feature like voice-chat with file sharing capabilities.

But there is a major drawback to GTalk, and that is privacy. Everybody who is on your "friends" list on GTalk would be able to see you online once you login, you cannot set your status to "invisible" like you can do on Yahoo! This can be quite annoying when in the middle of an important work something pops up on the middle of your screen and distraction sets in.

Although GTalk has a feature of showing your status as Idle, but that feature is automatic and is activated only if you do not use the computer for at least 10 minutes. Moreover, a single click or slight movement of the mouse sets your status to Available once again. If you have been bothered by these issues and wished that GTalk too had a feature where you could have set yourself on Idle when you want to, then I have got some good news for you. It can be done with a small piece of software called gAlwaysIdle.

gAlwaysIdle adds two new options to Google Talk, allowing you to change your status to be 'always idle' or 'never idle'. When your status is set to 'always idle', you'll appear idle to your Google Talk buddies even if you're sitting at your computer typing e-mails and sending IMs. gAlwaysIdle works on Windows XP and Windows Vista, although it does not support the 64-bit version. Since gAlwaysIdle is a Freeware, it does not have a dedicated support team. But in case something goes wrong, which is a rarity, you can always revert to their community forums and their FAQ list which are pretty comprehensive in solving almost any issues regarding gAlwaysIdle.

You can download gAlwaysIdle from here. In case you are still wondering how can you use GTalk without installing, well, keep reading The Chronicles of R, I would write about it pretty soon. And if you found this hack useful, then help me spread the word by giving it a Stumble and/or a Digg using the button below.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Alexa Traffic Graph

Alexa Graph
Alexa, founded in April 1996, is a web information company. Alexa ranks sites based on tracking information of users of its Alexa Toolbar for Internet Explorer and from integrated sidebars/plugins in Netscape and Mozilla.

The question is, why is Alexa ranking so important? That's because Alexa data is still being followed by numerous affiliate programs and other services in order to determine the quality of the site. That list of sites include Text Link Ads, Review Me, Sponsored Reviews etc.

The Alexa data is usually represented by a numeric rank and an Alexa graph. But the graph is shown only for sites which are within the first 100,000 ranking. And getting into top 100,000 is not only difficult but is also a time consuming process as Alexa calculates the ranks using an average of last 3 months. So unless your site is in the top 100,000 list on Alexa, then you would be greeted with a blank graph saying "Not in top 100,000".

But here's the trick. Even if your site is not listed in the top 100,000, you can still view the graph of your site. All you need to do is, take the Alexa graph of any other site, take mine if you want to, and compare your site with that graph, and you would get a beautiful graph of your site along with the graph of that other site.

Comparing the sites is pretty simple. Go to the traffic ranks page of your site. Just below the graph you would find 5 text boxes, one of them containing the URL of your site. Write the URL of the other site with which you want to compare your site one of those blank text box. Then click on the "Compare Sites" button and enjoy the view, but don't forget to subscribe to The Chronicles of R to learn more such useful tips and tricks.

How Do You Rank Your Posts?

Post Rank
If you take a look at the Popular Post widget that I have on the sidebar, you would notice that even though I have received 23 comments on the Why Men Are More Perfect Than Women and 13 comments on A Quick Question and Jab We Met respectively, yet those posts are not being featured on the Popular Posts list. It is because in reality, the most number of comments is not a guarantee that post is the most popular post. Although more often than not, we use a Most Commented widget for a Popular Post widget. So how do I calculate the popularity/rank of a post? I use PostRank.

PostRank is a scoring system developed by AideRSS, a startup company located in Waterloo, Canada, to rank any kind of online content, be it blog posts, RSS feed items, articles, or news stories. PostRank is based on social engagement, which refers to how interesting or relevant the readers have found a post to be. Examples of engagement include writing a blog post in response to someone else, bookmarking an article, leaving a comment on a blog, or clicking a link to read a news item.

PostRank measures engagement by analyzing the types and frequency of a reader's interaction with online content. An item's PostRank score represents how interesting and relevant people have found it to be. PostRank scoring is based on analysis of the "5 Cs" of engagement: creating, critiquing, chatting, collecting, and clicking. By collecting interaction metrics in these categories the overall engagement score is calculated and the PostRank value is determined.

The PostRank data service can be used in many different ways. For example you can filter existing feeds to reduce the quantity of items a feed reader is presented. PostRank helps you engage with information that interests you. Read what matters and learn as much or as little as you want about topics, from every little bit to just the latest news.

The PostRank widget can be configured in two ways. First, the feed-based PostRank helps you understand an individual feed. It allows you to filter and rank news items, against their own historical levels of social engagement. This means that a 10 for one source will represent a different level of engagement than a 10 from another source. And the second one is the thematic PostRank, which provides further customization of the RSS user experience, enabling comparative ranking of online content from different feed sources based on user input. PostRank calculations are not normalized against a feed history but are compared to each other. This allows for ranking of news items from different sources within a topic area or channel.

So in a way you would be able to target your niche readers and present them exactly what they want to read. Not only that, PostRank would also help in increasing your CTR.

Registering with PostRank is pretty easy, you can use your OpenID, Google id, Yahoo! id, or create a PostRank id using your email. Then all you need to do is create a widget by setting up your feed and then put it up on your blog. The PostRank widget is fully customizable and is compatible with most of the major blog platforms. PostRank also has a Get Satisfaction page and a Twitter account, thus getting assistance is not tough or time consuming. So go ahead, register your account with PostRank from here, but before that, don't forget to subscribe to The Chronicles of R so that you can be notified when it is updated.

Update (31st March, 2009):

Many of you have found that the rank of certain posts differ on the PostRank website and the PostRank widget, Melanie Baker from PostRank has explained that for us. If you look at the comments section you will find her detailed explanation. Thanks Melanie.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour : The Real Picture

When I woke up, the house was in complete darkness! I raised the curtains so that the I can see the switch in the light of the street lamp, and that was when a panic struck my heart. The whole area was in darkness. I could not see anything. What happened? Where did everyone go? What happened to the lights? Is it a power cut? Is it an alien invasion? Hell no, it's Earth Hour!

I have been hearing about Earth Hour almost everywhere, newspapers, televisions, magazines, Adsense! But last night when I saw it flashing on Twitter, that's when I closed TweetDeck, turned off my computer and looked within myself for an answer. The question was, what's this Earth Hour thing all about? Is it about Global Warming? Is it about keeping a check on the carbon fuel emission? Or is it about Amir Khan, holding his candle in his hands, urging us to switch off our lights for a whole of 60 minutes?

Well, to be very honest with you, I could not find an answer. Simply because I could never find a logic in switching off my lights for one hours and sitting their in complete darkness, all the while feeling like a complete moron. Just like I could not find a reason why should I caste my valuable vote in the elections, although even my tea company started preaching me about it. So there must be something that I am missing, otherwise why would so many people all of a sudden be so very much interested in saving the earth from global warming for just one hour, even though throughout the year nothing is being done about this very same cause. And then I realized that that something was a goal propagated by the mainstream media to serve a purpose,
their purpose.

The truth is that this fear of global warming is being
fed into us. It's being given colors and is being molded into shapes of huge proportions by the mainstream media. Why? Because bad news sells. And the mainstream media would sell anything they can get their hands on. That is why they are creating this media-hype around Earth Hour, because they want it to sell.

Don't believe me, see this detailed study from from researchers at BusinessandMedia.org titled "Fire and Ice"(PDF). Through their own words in print it reveals this constantly shifting focus of fear in major media.
In 1979, Newsweek had run a cover on global cooling, the coming ice age. There was a cover story in the magazine Science News with a picture of a glacier, totally surrounding Manhattan with only Empire State Building protruding.

The New York Times headline on May 21, 1975 "Scientists Ponder Why The World’s Climate Is Changing; A Major Cooling Widely Considered to Be Inevitable."

Go back to March 27, 1933 and the Times had another bundle of pre-packaged perception to seduce the public with. "America’s Longest Warm Spell Since 1776; Temperature Line Records a 25-Year Rise."

And less than 10-years before that on September 18, 1924, the headline read; "MacMillan Reports Signs of New Ice Age."
Also, a 2003 study by Harvard and Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in "20th Century Climate, Not So Hot," revealed that "the 20th century is neither the warmest century nor the century with the most extreme weather of the past 1,000 years". Two institutions that could hardly be called biased and would never gain anything by spreading global warming.

So where is global warming? What did you say, there’s a crack in the ice in Antarctica? Have you ever been to Antarctica or seen pictures of it on TV? If you did you would see that there are thousands of such ice shelf cracked and are floating on the water. It's a natural phenomenon, not global warming for Jason's sake!

And first it's time for
you to decide, is it global warming, global cooling, crack in ice-shelf or unethical marketing, what is the Earth Hour all about? But honestly, would the mainstream media let you decide what it actually is, it won't. It always tried to shift focus where it wants to, not where reality is. It's they who would decide for you, every time, in every part of your life. That's why this sudden invented crisis, and that's why all these "oh! we are in trouble" and "oh! the world's gonna end, so you better hold your candle like I do" ads, and that's why this sudden invention of Earth Hour, even though the same goals could have been achieved on Earth Day. But for that one needs good intentions. And the mainstream media is anything but good intentions. All they need is followers. Followers like you, do-gooder. People like you who think they are serving a cause because you want to do something good, all the while helping the mainstream media serve it's own purpose. They want you to follow them, not the good cause but them. Yes, follow us, switch off your lights, do what we say, because we need you to tune in to us tomorrow, same time, same channel. And while you are sitting in complete darkness feeling like a dork, the mass media outlets and politicians are laughing all the way to the bank.

If you really want to do something, then don't wait for any Earth Hour or Earth Day. Do it today, do it now. Good causes don't need to wait for any particular day, hour or minute. Neither does your soul needs to be awakened by any celebrity or advertisement. If it does than it's better off sleeping. Probably it needs some good sleep to shake away the dust of immorality over good cause so that it can distinguish between the good cause and sleazy marketing. All I am asking you is not to support a farce like Earth Hour. It's just an over-hyped propaganda for the mainstream media to make money and publicity out of it.

[P.S. Sources and further readings : Is Earth Hour the Ultimate Tribal Seduction, Earth Hour! Are You Kidding Me?, Global Warming Swindle Documentary, Save the Planet :: by Late George Carlin]

Tweetmeme Introduces ReTweet Buttons

One of the best ways to promote your articles is to put them on Twitter. Once you tweet the link to your articles, if people find them interesting they would start retweeting those links and that link/article would thus get more exposure. Here your responsibility is to make it as easy as possible to retweet your articles. For that you can resort to Tweetmeme's ReTweet button.

A few days back, Tweetmeme has introduced it's ReTweet button. One single line of JavaScript and you're in business. It would help your readers retweet your content with one click, along with that it would also display the number of times that link has been retweeted. So not only are you having the benefit of getting your links easily retweeted, you are also getting free stats from which you can easily learn which one of your article your readers like the most. The button comes in 3 varieties. They also have a WordPress plugin.

You can download the code for your ReTweet button from here. Also you can see the full documentation on the WordPress plugin here. But before you do that, subscribe to The Chronicles of R to be notified when we are updated.

14 Indispensable URL Shorteners

URL Shortener
We often use URL shorteners without even knowing that many of them have different features. Here is a list of 14 URL shorteners and what's so special about them. Hope you would like them. And don't forget to subscribe to my RSS feed to get notified when The Chronicles of R is updated with more such news, views and reviews.

bit.ly - A simple URL shortener with real-time link tracking, complete history of your links, storing of your Twitter accounts and preferences, a bookmarklet and a preview plugin for Firefox.

BudURL - Manage all of your links in one easy interface with custom notes to keep track of your placemen, instant click stats in your personal Click Stream, create multiple BudURLs that point to the same destination so you can tell which source generates the best ROI, view your referrers, click charts and more!

Eweri - URL shortener with a list of popular URIs, latest URIs and screenshots of those sites/blogs.

HEX!O - A simple URL shortener with bookmarklets.

idek.net -A handy URL shortener with bookmarklets, stats, wordpress plugin and a 301 redirect.

is.gd - A simple URL shortener with a short domain name. You can use this to shorten your email addresses too.

kl.am - A link juice loving URL shortener. This is the successor of zi.ma.

Lincr - A URL shortener with bookmarklets and Firefox Ubiquity command.

POPrl.com - A handy URL shortener with list of popular URLs with screenshots and bookmarklets.

RubyURL - A handy URL shortener built using the Ruby on Rails framework.

Snipurl - A URL shortener with stats, batch processing of URLs and a list of interesting URLs with easy sharing options on most popular bookmarking and social sites.

TinyURL - The Grand Daddy of all URL shorteners, with bookmarklets, URL masking for affiliate links, URL redirects and URL aliases.

twurl - The simplest of them all, anyone with an OpenID can use twurl.

urlBorg - Get detailed history of all the links you created or clicked just by using your GMail id and password to login, also has a preview option.

Now, take your pick.

Friday, March 27, 2009

PopSci Genius Guide Interactive Magazine

PopSci Genius Guide Magazine
PopSci Genius Guide, a part of the Popular Science Magazine, was kind enough to send me a free copy of their introductory issue for review.

PopSci Genius Guide is an interactive digital magazine, featuring articles on comprehensive themes like home entertainment, green technology, do-it-yourself tips, videos for hands on experience, quizzes, contests and a lot more. Learn what you can built by a little shopping without having to burn a hole in your pocket and also, how to get the best of what you have. Simple, yet hard to find tweaks - when to use your HDMI ports, subwoofer placement tips, list of sites for downloading HD movie, how to automate the gadgets and appliances in your house with the help of custom software and homemade circuits - would surely keep you engrossed for a long time. Every page of the magazine is crammed full of valuable yet hard to find information.

The PopSci Genius Guide is published quarterly and can be viewable using the Zinio reader. The issues can be read online or can be downloaded on to your computer for offline viewing. The Zinio reader is compatible with your iPhone, so you would be able to read the PopSci Genius Guide on the go without having to carry any extra piece of hardware (read Kindle) with you. Browsing through the magazine is pretty simple, and with it's complete page dragging feature be prepared for a rich, true magazine experience.

For the benefit of the readers of The Chronicles of R, the introductory issue of the PopSci Genuius Guide is available at a special pricing. Click here to avail the offer, but before that don't forget to leave me a comment and subscribe to my RSS feed, so that you can remain updated about more such offers from The Chronicles of R.

White House Easter Egg Roll

White House Easter Egg Roll
Barrack Obama is all on a "change" spree, and continuing the saga, this year for the first time tickets for the Easter Egg Roll will be distributed online so that more children and families from across the United States have the opportunity to experience this event.

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama announced the 2009 White House Easter Egg Roll, which is to be held on Monday, April 13, 2009 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the South Lawn of the White House. Talented performers, special guests and thousands of visitors from all over the country are expected to attend this year.

The White House Easter Egg Roll has quite a history, dating back to 1878, when the event was designed to encourage children and their families to come outdoors and celebrate the start of the spring season. This year, the theme for the White House Easter Egg Roll is ‘Let’s go play’, encouraging America’s youth to lead healthy and active lives. The White House will open the South Lawn to children age ten and under, along with their families, to enjoy sports, cooking classes, live musical performances, storytelling and, of course, the traditional Easter Egg Roll.

According to whitehouse.gov, tickets are now available for the 2009 White House Easter Egg Roll! Click here for Easter Egg Roll 2009 tickets. Tickets will be available at various times throughout the day. If you are unable to order tickets at this time, please check back later.

The tickets, which are timed for entrance and exit to the South Lawn, will be emailed to each confirmed guest and the original must be printed and presented to gain entry to the South Lawn. A maximum of six tickets will be issued per order. Children age ten and under, along with their families are invited to attend. There must be at least one child ten years old or under and no more than two adults per group. Tickets are required for every attendee, including small children and infants, to enter the South Lawn of the White House.

Have a Happy Easter Egg Roll celebration at the White House.

[Pic Courtesy : About.com]

Thursday, March 26, 2009

50+ Funniest Quotes Ever

I hope this collection of 50+ funny quotes would bring a smile on your face. I have marked my favorites in red. If you do like them, then feel free to use them as your IM status or your email signature. But don't forget to help me by giving this article a Stumble and/or a Digg, you can also share it on any other social networking or social bookmarking sites that you use by using the Add This button below. Also, don't forget to subscribe to The Chronicles of R.

I dream of a better tomorrow, where chickens can cross the road and not be questioned about their motives.

When I said 'death' before 'dishonor', I meant alphabetically.

Putting the laughter back into manslaughter.

When shooting a mime, don't use a silencer or his friends will hear you.

Hurricanes are like women : when they come, they're wet and wild, but when they leave they take your house and car.

You're about as useful as a one-legged man in an arse kicking contest.

A little necrophilia never killed anyone.

Dyslexics Of The World Untie.

I don't suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.

A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

I don't find it hard to meet expenses. They're everywhere.

Sometimes I wake up grumpy; other times I let her sleep.

Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin - it's the triumphant twang of a bedspring.

I am going to call my kids Ctrl, Alt and Delete. Then if they muck up I will just hit them all at once.

I got cold hard cash for Christmas. Five bucks frozen in a block of ice.

Being dyslexic has drawbacks. I once went to a toga party dressed as a goat.

Without me, it's just aweso.

He who laughs last probably does not get the joke.

I miss you like a retard misses the point.

Don't steal. The government hates competition.

You know you have a small apartment when Coco Pops echo.

Ninety-nine percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name.

Why is the place you drive on is a parkway, and the place you park on is the driveway?

If a wolf can take down a deer from either flank, does that make him bambidextrous?

I went too a restaurant that served breakfast at anytime, so i ordered french toast during the renaissance.

To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

What do you call a black man flying a plane? A pilot you racist.

If you smacked a kid in the face with a bottle of Johnson's No More Tears, would it create beautiful irony?

Imagine there were no hypothetical situations.

Children in the dark cause accidents, accidents in the dark cause children.

Depression is just anger without enthusiasm.

I would love to change the world, but they won't give me the source code.

Just remember, if the world didn't suck, we'd all fall off.

Who's General Failure & why is he reading my disk?

Tennis is a fickle sport. No matter how good you are at it, a wall will always be better.

Yo momma's so fat, she walked past the TV and i missed the first season of Lost.

If your name was homework, I would be doing you on my desk right now.

He's so far in the closet he's in Narnia.

Before you insult a man, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, when you insult him, you'll be a mile away, and have his shoes.

I still miss my ex-girlfriend, but my aim is improving.

Last night I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and I thought to myself, where the heck is the ceiling.

The noblest of dogs is the hot dog, it feeds the hand that bites it.

The reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live.

Why do we call them buildings when they're finished? Shouldn't they be called Builts?

When life gives you lemons, cut them in half and squirt life in the eye!

Screw me if I'm wrong, but have we met before?

Always remember that you are unique; just like everyone else.

Indecision is the key to flexibility.

I told the butcher I'd give him $10 if he got the meat down off the top shelf. He said he couldn't. The steaks were too high.

The Vending Machine Theory : "Stuff tastes better when it falls".

The most effective copyright protection known to man : a scratched CD.

A jump-leads walks into a bar, acting aggressively. The barman says "All right, I'll serve you. But don't start anything."

This girl rang me up one time, she says "come over, nobody is home", I went over, no one was home!

It appears the location of my fist and your head are not mutually exclusive! It is a probability miracle!

Light travels faster than sound. That's why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

Coffee just isn't my cup of tea.

If this made you laugh, then I am sure you would love these too.

32 Things To Do When Your ISP Is Down

42 Things Real Men Do

How To Shoot Yourself In The Foot

Clear Your Search History

Online Privacy
All of us would like to maintain out privacy, especially when we are online. Now one of the best way to do that is to clear your search history. And although we often buy/install softwares to do the same, all the while running a risk of installing Spywares on our computers through those softwares, it only takes a minute to do exactly the task those software does, manually. And then, you would not have to worry about your spouse to come across those pesky sites your visited for those naughty pictures, nor would your spouse know about the new fur jacket the you bought using his credit card.

Since most of us use Google, to
clear your search history from the Google you must first understand that these search results are stored in your browser, and not on Google's end. Now you have 2 options, you can either clear the search history from your browser, or you can configure your browser so that it does not store any of your search results. How to do that? Here's the answer.

Internet Explorer:

To clear your search history -

1. Go to the "Tools" menu.
2. Click on "Internet Options".
3. Under the "General Tab", in the "Browsing History" section click the "Delete" button.
4. In the "Delete Browsing History" box, click on the "Delete forms" button under the "Form Data" section.
5. Click on "Yes" and it would delete all your search history.

To disable Internet Explorer from storing your search history -

1. Go to the "Tools" menu.
2. Click on "Internet Options".
3. Go to the "Content" tab.
4. Click on the "Settings" button under the "AutoComplete" section.
5. Uncheck the "Forms" option, click on Ok.
6. Click on Ok on the "Internet Options" box once again.

In Firefox:

To clear your search history -

1. Go to the "Tools" menu.
2. Click on "Options".
3. Go to the "Privacy" tab.
4. In the "Private Data" section, click on the "Settings" button to make sure that the "Saved Form and Search History" box is checked. Click Ok to go back to the "Privacy" tab.
5. Click on the "Clear Now" button under the "Private Data" section.

To disable Firefox from storing your search history -

1. Go to the "Tools" menu.
2. Click on "Options".
3. Go to the "Privacy" tab.
4. Uncheck the " Remember what I enter in forms and the search bar" option and click on Ok.

Now almost all of us use the Google toolbar, to delete your search history from your Google toolbar or disable the option from storing your search history on the Google toolbar, you need to complete the following simple steps.

To clear search history from Google Toolbar -

1. Click on the drop-down in the search box.
2. Click on "Clear Search History".

To disable Google Toolbar from storing your search history -

1. Click on the "Settings" drop-down menu on the Google Toolbar and click on "Options".
2. Click on "Search Box Settings".
3. Uncheck the "Save the search history across browser sessions" options.
4. Click on Ok to return to the "Options" box.
5. Click on Ok once again.

Did you find this article informative? Then please help me by giving this article a Stumble and/or a Digg if you happen to use them. If you use any other social network or bookmarking site, you can easily share this article using the Add This button below. Also, subscribe to The Chronicles of R to be notified when we update.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Geek Humor

Here's a detailed explanation of s*x for the computer literate and real life illiterate.

Think of s*x as a new protocol developed for real world communication and interaction between members of the opposite s*x, much as TCP/IP allows all makes and models of computers to communicate and interface.

In this example, let's represent the woman as a Windows computer. A bit flighty, fun to look at, and occasionally does something useful. In the same way, the man will be represented as a DOS system. Not impressive looking, rough around the edges, but it can get the job done as long as you're patient.

Let's say the DOS system wants to interface with the Windows box. In this case, the two units could be in a crowded bar, represented here as a busy toking ring.

The DOS system attempts to open communication with a simple SMTP style message, in this case, HELLO. The Windows box generates a random number via an unknown internal process, and in some instances, responds with a similar HELLO message.

At other times, the Windows box fails to respond at all, either due to the initial HELLO message being lost in the network traffic, background noise, or due to internal conflicts in the Windows box's memory . In this case, let's assume the initial message was received and responded to.

The next step is a simple handshake in order to verify the connection, and to exchange hostnames and the real world version of IP addresses, known as phone numbers. These IP addresses allow later connections to be established quickly.

At this point, the two computers exchange lengthy information about themselves. In this example, the DOS system has very little system information to disclose, while the Windows box has a lengthy list of system and environment information. So our example would consist of lengthy information from the Windows box to the DOS system. The Windows box will occasionally pause to inquire about system information from the DOS system.

These inquiries also serve as keep alive messages, to ensure that the constant influx of information has not overflowed the limited memory of the DOS system and caused it to time out. The DOS system will then respond with a brief message, at which point, the Windows box is free to continue it's data transmission.

It is important to note that the DOS system must have a large amount of storage, as it will be expected to recall the transmitted information at a moment's notice, with no errors. Any errors will cause an abrupt end to communication for a period ranging from an hour or two to forever.

Let's assume that the initial handshaking and system information exchange proceed without incident, and no packet collisions (arguments) occur. The next step is a physical interface between the two computers. Usually, this is initiated by the DOS system.

The initial connection is known as a SMOOCH. (Simple Male Offering Of Carnal Happiness) Assuming the connection is accepted, it will be returned many times by the Windows box, to ensure that this critical signal is acknowledged. If it is not accepted, the Windowsbox will respond with a SLAP (Stop Leering and Pawing)

In the case of a SLAP message, the connection is abruptly closed -- Permanently !!!

In the case of a returned SMOOCH message, the two systems must be relocated to a private peer to peer network, where more secured communication will take place.

The first step is the removal of all encumbering software in order to ensure more fluid communication. The two systems then merge. There are several steps to this.

First, because both systems have been communicating freely for a while, appropriate anti-virus software must be used to ensure no infection of the opposite system. Once this software is installed, the DOS system mounts the Windows box's read-write. A high flow of data occurs, until the DOS box's buffers overflow, and the connection is terminated. (Note: The DOS system's buffer will not overflow as quickly if the speed of reading and writing is reduced. This allows a more prolonged communication.)

Finally, the DOS system unmounts. For some reason, the DOS system's hard drive has been transformed into a floppy at this point. We are still researching this phenomenon. Perhaps more robust systems will be able to maintain the hard drive status, but for now, this is beyond our reach.

At this point, the Windows box will attempt to reestablish low level communication, however, the DOS system is usually overloaded, and so within half an hour, both systems will enter a low power sleep mode.

[Source : Geek Humor. Please visit them for more such hilarious geeky stuff. Warning : They are addicting.]

Chuck Jones : Remembering The Legend

Chuck Jones
Chuck Jones, the legendary animator, who gave us Bugs Bunny, Coyote, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd and Porky Pig. A career span of 60 years, 300 animated films, winner of three Oscars as director and in 1996 an honorary Oscar for Lifetime Achievement. But even these are not enough the draw the legend that he was. Here are some quotes of Chuck Jones, dedicated to him in his memories.

1. Animation isn't the illusion of life; it is life.

2. When critics sit in judgment it is hard to tell where justice leaves off and vengeance begins.

3. Fog and smog should not be confused and are easily separated by color. Fog is about the color of the insides of an old split wet summer cottage mattress; smog is the color and consistency of a wet potato chip soaked in a motorman's glove.

4. You do not ‘suffer’ if you decide ‘that’s the way it is’ rather than ‘why is it this way?’

5. Comedy is unusual people in real situations; farce is real people in unusual situations.

6. Dogwood: Its bark is worse than its blight.

7. The only time a wife listens to her husband is when he's asleep.

8. The older I get, the more individuality I find in animals and the less I find in humans. Early experiences convinced me that animals can and do have quite distinct personalities.

9. The rules are simple. Take your work, but never yourself, seriously. Pour in the love and whatever skill you have, and it will come out.

10. The name 'Chuck Jones', according to my uncle, limited my choice of profession to second baseman or cartoonist.

11. The Coyote is limited, as Bugs is limited, by his anatomy. To give the Coyote a look of anticipatory delight, I draw everything up—the eyes are up, the ears are up, and even the nose is up. When he is defeated, on the other hand, everything turns down. You can’t do that as dramatically with human beings, although the emotions expressed are fully human.

12. If you want a midget to look like a baby, don’t put a cigar in his mouth.

13. Once you have heard a strange audience burst into laughter at a film you directed, you realize what the word joy is all about.

14. Each character represented a trait that resides in me.

Jones often recalled a small child who, when told that Jones drew Bugs Bunny, replied: "He doesn’t draw Bugs Bunny. He draws pictures of Bugs Bunny." His point was that the child thought of the character as being alive and believable, which was, in Jones’ belief, the key to true character animation. To know more about Chuck Jones, visit his official home page. Our childhood memories would always remain indebted to Chuck Jones.

After hearing that Jones had died, a four-year-old child asked her mother, between sobs, "Does this mean the bunny won’t be in the barber chair any more?" The answer is, "No, the bunny will be in the barber chair forever."

A Cure For Writer's Block

Writer's Block
Yes, we all have walked down that road some time or the other. And boy, is Writer's Block frustrating! Nothing comes in your mind, not a single word, forget about a structuring a complete sentence. And then we start searching for solutions. Unfortunately, most of the times we are unable to come up with a satisfied answer. So today I thought about writing on how to cure your writer's block, with the aid of technology. Yes, you heard it right, the solution to your writer's block lies with technology. The solution has a name too, Skribit.

Skribit provides a content suggestion service helping bloggers discover relevant topics to write about from their readers. Launched in November 2007 at the Atlanta Startup Weekend, Skribit has grown steadily since then, all the while adding new features. Skribit is pretty easy to install and works on almost all the blogging platforms including Blogger, Wordpress and TypePad. With their widget, you would be able to receive real-time, user-generated suggestions directly from your readers.

Once you have registered with Skribit, which is quite an easy thing to do and takes only about a minutes or so and is completely free, you need to setup your blog account with them so that you can create your own Skribit widget for your blog. The Skribit widget comes in 3 flavors, an older ver 1 widget, a regular sidebar widget and a suggestion tab. Although I would suggest you to choose between the regular sidebar widget or the suggestion tab. The regular sidebar widget sits there on your sidebar like an intent listener. Your readers would be able to write in suggestions over there on what would they like to see on your blog. And you would be able to see that, in real-time. And in case you want to save on screen real-estate then you should go for the suggestion tab. The suggestions tab would float around on one of the sides of your blog, and when clicked it would bring about a suggestion box where your readers would be able to input their valuable suggestions on what you should write on. The tab is styled with your settings of course.

But wait, this is not all. Skribit also has it's own community where you get to see the popular suggestions, recently blogged suggestions, popular people, groups and a lot more. Through this you would be able to gauge the latest trend and voila! You know what you should be writing about. So, simply register with Skribit, and cure your writer's block, forever. But don't forget to subscribe to The Chronicles of R to remain notified when it is updated.

[P.S. Picture courtesy : LOLCats]

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Gears Of War 2 Update Available

Early this morning, the Gears team released Title Update 3 for Gears of War 2. Rod Fergusson, the Executive Producer of Gear of War 2, provided the full listing on the Gear of War 2 forum. The update is available now and will download automatically when you start Gears 2 while connected to Xbox LIVE. Here is a full run-down on all of the improvements and exploit fixes.


Title Update 3 makes these new improvements:

Adds 100 levels of player experience that you can gain based on your score in Public matches. The game still uses Trueskill for matchmaking to find the most competitive matches, but the skill rank is now hidden. The new level of experience appears next to your gamertag, with levels 1 through 99 displayed as numbers and level 100 displayed as an icon. The game normalizes experience based on match type so that players earn an equivalent amount of experience across all modes.

Adds an experience penalty for players quitting before a match is complete.

Adds bots automatically to a Public Match if players quit and cause unbalanced teams. This ability has always existed in Private Matches if the bot count is set higher than zero.

Optimizes playlists to only have two modes per playlist. Ties are decided by random selection.

Adds the ability for teams to talk to each other between rounds in a Private Match.

Adds the ability to save Public and Private Horde high scores after each complete wave, in case the host loses connection before failing or completing all fifty waves.

Makes minor changes to general bandwidth usage.

Adds region preference to matchmaking.

Improves standby detection.

Adds nine new achievements worth 250 points. Progress toward them starts after Title Update 3 is applied. Six of the new achievements require the Snowblind Map Pack, a set of four new maps to be released soon. The nine new achievements:
  • "Rookie Gear" (10 points): Earn enough multiplayer experience to reach level 5 (Public only).
  • "Seasoned Gear" (20 points): Earn enough multiplayer experience to reach level 15 (Public only).
  • "Battle-Tested Gear" (30 points): Earn enough multiplayer experience to reach level 25 (Public only).
  • "Battle-Hardened Gear" (50 points): Reach level 50 and play a match on each of the four Snowblind Map Pack maps (Public only).
  • "Veteran Gear" (75 points): Reach level 100 and win a match on each of the four Snowblind Map Pack maps (Public only).
  • "Never Eat Red Snow" (20 points): Complete waves 1 through 10 on all Snowblind Map Pack maps in Horde (any difficulty).
  • "Icy Dead People" (25 points): Complete waves 1 through 50 on any Snowblind Map Pack map in Horde (any difficulty).
  • "Frigid Body Dynamics" (5 points): Play a multiplayer match on each of the four Snowblind Map Pack maps (any mode).
  • "The Weather Outside Is Lethal" (15 points): Win a multiplayer match on each of the four Snowblind Map Pack maps (any mode).

Exploit Fixes

Title Update 3 fixes these possible exploits, where under certain circumstances:

A player could swap from a pistol to a two-handed weapon during a cover slide and then mantle greater distances.

Players could kill themselves in Wingman to avoid giving their opponents more points. Now, suicides and team killing will reduce team score.

A player holding a meatshield could melee through some walls.

A player could equip a two-handed weapon with a shield using either the Boltok or the Gorgon pistol.

A player could equip a two-handed weapon with a meatshield using either the Boltok or the Gorgon pistol.

A player could prevent planted shields from being picked up by other players.

Players could launch themselves into the air with a smoke grenade while mantling.

General Fixes

Title Update 3 fixes these other issues as well:

An issue that caused chainsaw interruption when a player is shot to be less reliable in some body positions than in others.

An issue where a third player could join a Public Wingman party lobby and remove another player from the game.

An issue in Submission games where occasionally the meatflag would immediately run back to the spawn point after being dropped.

An issue where players that were knocked down but not out (DBNO) while planting the Boomshield would appear to be standing.

An elevation-based issue where the detection for a headshot might not align properly with certain character model heads.

An issue that could cause Wingman teammates to have different character models.

Additional miscellaneous bug fixes.


Title Update 3 makes these balancing changes:

Reduces stun duration of smoke grenades. Currently, characters always start to get up after 2 seconds.

Gives melee the same delay after roadie running that shooting received in Title Update 2.

Removes spawn protection from the Horde in Horde mode.

Increased the forward angle that triggers chainsaw duels so that players with Lancers equipped won't be sawn from the side without a duel.

Reduces the delay before a player can climb up after entering low cover.

Makes minor changes to weapon spawns on the Subway map to provide greater balance.

Hope these changes would bring new life to Gears of War 2 as it was seen struggling of late in Xbox Live. If you are a first time visitor, don't forget to subscribe to The Chronicles of R to be notified when it's updated.

Redesign Google

Google Redesigned
So you're not kinda happy with the preset themes that the Gmail Lab gives you? And you really don't wanna go through the mess of creating a theme with colors of your choice using the "choose your own colors" option o'er there. Nothing to fear when the Google Redesigned is here. Did that bring a smile on your face? Well, then wait till you read this completely, and I am sure it would broaden your smile by another inch or so.

Google Redesigned is a pretty neat Firefox extension which does cool things like load the various styles that are developed by Globex Designs which aim to redesign various Google services. So it changes the way certain Google website look without affecting their functionality in any way. Google Redesigned, which originally started as a single CSS file trying to redesign Google's Gmail service, has since grown to incorporate other various Google services and pages. The Google Redesigned extension offers the popular Globex Designs styles in a single, self-updating extension.

Using the extension is quite simple. After you install the extension and restart your browser - everything is already setup for you. As soon as you visit a Google service which has a style associated with it, Google Redesigned will automatically download the latest version of the style and load it. You should also notice a small Google Redesigned Icon icon in the bottom right corner of your screen. From here you can do a few things like check for new updates to styles manually you can press the "Check for Style Updates" button. This will let you know if any styles updates are available and if they are, the styles will be installed. If you don't click the button, the extension will automatically check for updates on a daily basis and install them for you. From the menu you'll also be able to enable and disable the individual styles which are available. You can also view their Source, Change Logs and Submit Bug Reports to the Globex Designs forums.

Google Redesigned is built for Mozilla based browsers (Firefox, Flock, IceWeasel, and such). Firefox 3 and Flock 2 are highly recommended as certain styles will not work correctly on older versions of the Gecko engine. As well the Firefox 3 engine provides much faster performance for handling these styles. Version 0.2 introduces the long-awaited GReader Redesigned style which adds the popular Redesigned look to the Google Reader service. As well, version 0.2 has a revamped automatic update algorithm which should help make the extension speedier than ever.

You can download Google Redesigned from here. But before you do that, don't forget to subscribe to The Chronicles of R to get notified when update about more such news, views and reviews from the world of technology, literature and entertainment.

Monday, March 23, 2009

How To Put A Giraffe In A Fridge

This famous quiz game has been developed by Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) and will help you understand better your style of thinking.

1. How do you put a giraffe in the fridge?
Correct answer: Open the fridge, put the giraffe inside, close the fridge. This question checks if you tend to make simple things complicated.

2. How do you put an elephant in the fridge?
Wrong answer: Open the fridge, put the elephant inside, close the fridge.
Correct answer: Open the fridge, remove the giraffe, put the elephant inside, close the fridge. This question checks your ability to consider implications from your previous actions.

3. The Lion King organized a moot for the animals: all the animals are present but one. Which one?
Correct answer: The elephant. The elephant is in the fridge. This checks your memory. Even though you did not answer the first three questions correctly, you will answer the next one for sure.

4. You have to cross a river, but it is populated by alligators. What are you going to do?
Correct answer: You swim across the river because all the alligators are attending the moot. This question checks if you learn quickly from your mistakes.

According to Andersen Consulting Worldwide, 90% of the managers who undertook the test failed all the answers, on the contrary many children under 6 answered some questions correctly. Andersen Consulting says this is the proof that many top managers have the same brain as a 4-years old child!

Find more humorous jokes and pranks here. If you are a first time visitor, subscribe to The Chronicles of R for more such humorous articles.

New Features on Technorati

On March 17th, Jen McLean announced some major changes on the Technorati blog. From now on, you would be able to contribute blurbs on article pages and reviews of your favorite blogs, and you can now auto-tweet all your content.

Blurbs are micro articles submitted by the users which allows them to add content and references around their areas of expertise or interest. Technorati has now added blurbs to every post and tag page on Technorati.com. You would also be able to automatically generate a post to your Twitter account - blurb, tweet and update any other platform you use Twitter to update, all at once when you blurb.

Also you would be able to review your favorite blog. There is a 1000 word text-box on every blog page where you would be able to submit your reviews. Your reviews will appear on that blog's information page. Moreover, these blog reviews and blurbs also link back to your Technorati profile where readers can see your blogs, blurbs, watchlists and favorites.

So go ahead and post your reviews about The Chronicles of R here. Also, if you are a first time visitor, subscribe to my RSS feed to be notified when The Chronicles of R gets updated.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


I have hardly said anything about my friends till date, except for a few dedications. So today I thought about writing something about my friends. I think you would be able to know me a bit more from them, as I believe that a man's friends go a long way to describe his character.


Anindita - I know her since Hector was a pup. Why wouldn't I, she's my Dee Dee of course. Well, some people come into our lives as friends, and then they become family. Anindita came into my life as family, and she remained family. That's why she is in the family section.

Anindita is one of the most down to earth person I have ever seen in my life, and trust me, I haven't seen many. Until about 4-5 months of her acquaintance, I didn't even knew that she was the sister of Anindya Da. She had been there by my side through all the good and bad times from the beginning, even before The Chronicles of R was born.

She is very good in giving vocal tonics. And she can make one laugh even in if she is going through a tough time herself. A person who is not afraid to say the truth. She blogs too, Anindita writes here.


Madhurima - Well, what to say about her, one of my best friends, an animator by profession and a bit adorably insane. Maybe that's why I still have not changed her name on my IM to Madhurima, it's still Madzee! A nice person to chill-out with, she is an avid reader. Unfortunately, she does not have a blog, not yet. But she is planning to get one soon.

Sharmi - Does she needs an introduction? Hell no! Yes ladies and gentlemen, she is the lady who loves to spit venom on The Chronicles of R. A tomboy, lunatic, singer, blogger, crack, queer, irritating, nonsensical, cockeyed optimist, and of course, last but not the least, one of the most sweetest girl on earth. If I ever made a top 10 lists of friends, she won't be there. Some people are not supposed to be in any lists, she is one of them.

Nisha - Well, her best introduction would be that she is a mommy blogger, and I guess the only person ever who wrote a poem for me. And of course, she is my personal Santa Clause who never forgets to wish me at 12 midnight on every occasion, be it my birthday, Christmas or New Year. She surely knows how to make me feel special.

Jinia - If there is someone I love to irritate in the whole world, it's her. And I don't even need to put an effort, why I just need to remind her that she is from a village (even though she is not). I am sort of a soul-mate for her. We fight over the stupidest things on earth, as if if we don't fight atleast once a day the world will come to an end. But she means a lot to me. Unfortunately, she does not blog either.

Paridhi - Remember reading Finding Forrester? Well, Paridhi is the girl who wrote the first poem in Finding Forrester. And since then, she had inspired to write numerous poems. She had inspired me to see life in a different way, in sepia, in grayscale and then, in colors. A very well read person, she was the first one to introduce me to streams of consciousness. Very odd indeed, but she knows which of my poems I like the most, without me ever telling her about it.

Sam - Sanghamitra alias Sam. Sounds like a Mumbai ka Don? Well, she is anything but that. Another person for whom I am a soul-mate. I understand her a lot, and it maybe pure coincidence, but on numerous occasions I understood things she wanted to tell me without her mentioning them. A very nice friend to say the least. She has a blog too, but I am not allowed to publish it here. It's a private blog. The main quality of her that I find attractive about her is her ability to face the truth. She really deserves an applaud for that.


Rochak - Probably the only ex-colleague of mine with whom I am still in touch. Does he needs an introduction either? No, he does not. You already know a lot about him. I don't have many male friends *ahem*, he is one amongst them. He is one of the most helpful guys that I have ever met, and we share something in common. We both are geeks, only, I am the official geek, he's not. Ro-the-Chak, are you listening?

Undo Thyself

So, at last you have come back from your Vegas trip. You feel really tired, yet you don't wanna waste even a minute to show your photos to your girlfriend. So you open your computer, download your photos from your cam, zip them in a file and sooosh! There they go to Beth, she would be so happy to see them. Except, hey, wait! They had photos of you with Joanna, your ex-girlfriend! You should not have send it to her so fast, this is what happens every time you do something without thinking! Now she would bombard you with questions, she would not speak to you for days to come, you might even have a break-off!

Whoa whoa whoa! Relax buddy! Everything's under control, take a chill pill. But before that, do you see that Undo link just above your Gmail inbox? Click on it, yes, go ahead it won't bite you back. Good, now check your Drafts. Whoa, magic! Do you see the email that you had sent to Beth a few minutes back? Yes, remember the new feature you had activated from Gmail labs ? You don't!

Well, Gmail has finally introduced a new Undo feature. We could Undo everything in Gmail except for already sent emails. Even though you tried your bit somehow by disconnecting the net, closing the browser or maybe by unplugging the computer from the wall, but somehow Gmail always won. Not anymore, now all you need to do is turn on that Undo Send feature in Google labs and voila! The email stays in your inbox for a whole of 5 seconds, that's the time they give you to change your mind. Although you can increase it to a full 10 seconds, which I think is enough time for you to change your mind. Okay, it's a different story if you are a Libra like me, nobody cares about a jolly old Libra, why would they, we keep changing our minds every now and then. But isn't it a nifty feature! Now once you change your mind, just click on the Undo Send link and you email comes back to your Gmail inbox as a draft. Wish life also had an Undo link *sigh*

Moral of the story, subscribe to The Chronicles of R and have a happy love life for the rest of eternity.

[P.S. Cheating on your girlfriend maybe hazardous to your health.]

Friday, March 20, 2009

What Time Does Spring Start?

Spring 2009
Seems everybody is waiting for Spring to show it's face. And so everyone's to eager to know when Spring officially starts this year. Officially because starting of Spring is not guarantee to a Spring-like weather.

Well, Spring starts tomorrow, 20th March, 2009 at precisely 7:44 A.M ET. It's then that the Sun will cross directly over the Earth's equator. This moment is known as the vernal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and for the Southern Hemisphere, this is the moment of the autumnal equinox.

If you are a first time visitor, then consider subscribing to The Chronicles of R for more such news, view and reviews.

CCleaner : A Swiss Army Knife For Your PC

Registry Cleaner
Last time I wrote about code-rot, I also gave certain tips on how to make your computer fast. But what if your registry needs to be polished? Or maybe you want to clean traces of your internet activity? Is there an easy way out? Sure is. Try CCleaner.

CCleaner is a freeware
system optimization, privacy and cleaning tool. It removes all the unused files from your system, allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. It also acts as a fully featured registry cleaner. For the super cautious users CCleaner also offer secure file erasing. By overwriting the files before deleting them, making it impossible to recover the data. CCleaner is available in 35 different languages.

CCleaner was designed from the ground to be safe and secure to use. It has multiple levels of checks in place to ensure that it cannot delete any useful information or documents you may still need. Moreover, it is 100%
Spyware free and thus would not cause any harm to your system or ask you to download anything for you to use it.

Version 2.17 added wiping of disk free space, improved Apple Safari history cleaning, interface string changes and fixes and other minor bug fixes. And in case you need any help, CCleaner has their own customer service and a tech support forum.

To sum it up, CCleaner acts like a Swiss Army Knife. So if you are planning to download CCleaner, you can do it from here.
But before that, don't forget to subscribe to The Chronicles of R to remain updated about more such news, views and reviews from the world of technology, literature and entertainment.

Update (31st March, 2009):

For the benefit the readers, here is a link to the Support Pages of CCleaner.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Internet Explorer 8 Gold Released

Internet Explorer 8
Microsoft today has launched Internet Explorer 8 Gold. For quite a while now, Microsoft is trying to fit in the browser war. But somehow I feel that Internet Explorer 8 has a long way to go before it can actually compete with the likes of Firefox.

The first and foremost reason that I would not like to use Internet Explorer 8 is because of it's strict adherence to coding standards. Although it's a commendable move , yet I would say it's dubious as most of the web is not build up adhering to these coding standards.

Internet Explorer 8 has a long list of such websites with compatibility issues. So, it comes with a "Compatibility View" button, that will “fix” a seemingly incompatible site if the user knows to press it. In January, Microsoft added a downloadable list of sites that would automatically trigger IE 8 to move directly to compatibility mode, rather than standards mode. This list of compatible sites is being updated regularly.

But my point is how would I know whether a site, which is not on the Internet Explorer 8 compatibility list, is being displayed properly on not? So, like Mary-Jo Foley says, I would have to click on the Compatibility View button for every site I visit just to check whether I am missing something on-screen or not! I really don't think that Internet Explorer 8 and I would click.

And the best part is, along with many other reputable sites like Apple.com, CNN.com, eBay, Facebook, Google.com, NYTimes.com and Mashable.com being on the list, Microsoft.com itself is on the Compatibility list! It's quite a lot to say that their own site does not work on their own browser.

And then there are age old issues like lack of Firefox-like extensions, speed etc. which also plays quite a part in hampering the usability of Internet Explorer 8. Overall, I would stick to my Firefox, but would you like to give Internet Explorer 8 a try? If you really want to, than below are the links to the press release and download page. But before that, don't forget to subscribe to The Chronicles of R to remain updated about such news, views and reviews from the world of technology, literature and entertainment.

Press release


Sun Microsystem : A Walk In The Clouds

Cloud Computing
Finally, Sun Microsystem has joined the bandwagon. Although, they are a bit late, but then it's always better late than never, right?

Yesterday, Venture Beat reported that Sun Microsystem has finally decided to build up their own empire on the clouds. Yes, Sun Microsystem has entered the cloud computing arena. It would be quite interesting to watch, with most of the key players like Amazon, Google and Microsoft already in the game, what does Sun has to offer different.

To answer that question, GigaOm's Stacey Higginbotham say that the key features for Sun's success would be the platform’s openness and interoperability. According to Stacey:

Sun intends to capitalize on this ability to move data from cloud to cloud with its Virtual Data Center management software. The software allows for an IT manager to provision the cloud by building up a virtual data center in a dashboard. Essentially it translates the cloud into units with which an enterprise IT person is already familiar, rather than having them focus on command line APIs. Much of the intellectual property and ideas behind the Virtual Data Center software and Sun’s multicloud management efforts come from its purchase of Q-Layer earlier this year.
Also, at the same time there are news of IBM, aiming to increase its presence on the web, is planning to purchase Sun. The Wall Street Journal reports that IBM is willing to pay as much as $6.5 billion for the acquisition. To know more, keep tuned in to The Chronicles of R, consider subscribing the my RSS feed.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Natasha Richardson Brain Dead After Ski Accident

Natasha Richardson
If you are a first time visitor, then subscribe to my RSS feed to remain updated about the latest news, views and reviews from The Chronicles of R.

After the unfortunate accident of Natasha Richardson, the actress wife of actor Liam Neeson, while she was taking a private ski lesson on the Nansen, a beginners' run at Mont Tremblant without a ski helmet, Fox news reports that Natasha is brain dead.

On Wednesday morning, People reported:

"There is no chance," a family friend told PEOPLE on Tuesday night. "It is a fact that her heart is beating but she is brain dead."
Her dire condition - doctors described it to those close to Richards as "leakage of blood between the brain and skull," the friend says - has the actress's family coming to grips with potentially having to make an unthinkably difficult decision. "It's not official yet," says the friend, "but they basically will detach her."
There was also a report about a vigil for Natasha Richarson hours after she was flown via private jet to New York from Canada.

Later, Fox News updated Natasha is brain dead and would probably be taken off life support.
Sources close to Tony-award winning actress Natasha Richardson tell FOXNews.com that the 45-year-old actress is brain dead, and being transported back to New York City before she is to be taken off life support.
And although The TONY first reported:
Although public reports have not yet confirmed it, sources close to Richardson's family and friends say they have already been told the awful news: She will not survive the accident, and is currently brain dead.
Later The TONY updated their story with a clarification about their initial RIP headline, seen below:
TONY's sources have clarified the situation: Richardson is brain dead but has not passed away. Sources close to the family indicate that they are treating it as a death. We will update you on this sad story as circumstances warrant. We apologize to the family and to our readers.
Natasha Richardson has starred in a number of Hollywood films and acted opposite an 11-year-old Lindsay Lohan in 1998's The Parent Trap. But she is better known for her work on the stage, winning a Tony award in 1998 for her starring role in Sam Mendes' Broadway production of Cabaret.

(19th March, 2009):

A few minutes back Sky News reported that British actress Natasha Richardson died after her life support machine was turned off in hospital. May her soul rest in peace.

Decision Time For Entrecard

When Entrecard had offered Entrebar, I said "no, thank you". I have never actively participated in the Entrecard community, even though I had my Entrecard account for almost more than 6 months now.

A few days back I Entrecard announced the launch of their new
Ad network and Credit Cashout Service. I felt that this is a pretty bad move. It only exposed their lack of a proper business strategy.

First, what the people at Entrecard fail to understand is that we use Entrecard to increase traffic in our blog, we don't blog because of Entrecard. So they should be making use of Entrecard more simple so that we can spend less time on Entrecard and more time on our blog.

Second, if we are to use an ad network, then why not a professional and well-established ad network like Adsense or Adbrite? Why would we like to go for some newly created ad network who, before just one week of launching their ad network, have not yet decided on what would be the revenue sharing system would be like! It's a clear sign about the lack of proper planning.

Third, why should I use an ad network which does not have a granular structure. It's mandatory for every Entrecard member to participate in the ad network, not only that, but the users would be penalized if they reject ads! What if today I don't want to display an ad about online marketing because my blog is about technology? Why should I be penalized for that!

Fourth, initially Entrecard had made it mandatory for all it's members to place the widget at above-the-fold. Even though after lots of hue and cry (read the comments) from it's members, Entrecard had changed it to one-page down rule which is as cumbersome as it sounds. My point is, it's me who should have full control over my blog and not some other entity like Entrecard. I know best where to put what on my blog, because I designed it. So why should Entrecard tell me where to put my widgets! And now that they have changed the rule, I don't think they would be able to implement the one-page down rule either, because they would have to listen to there users. Cause if they don't then people would start leaving Entrecard like they did with Facebook after it changed it's terms about sharing. And moreover, why should I place Entrecard ad above-the-fold and not my Adsense ads? Does it not sounds pretty weird?

I still have my Entrecard widget on my blog where it was. If they want to penalize me for not placing it one-page down, then I would be too happy to leave Entrecard. Entrecard is not my primary source of traffic. I have an increasing number of
Constant Readers who come to my blog because they find what they need, not because I placed an ad on someone else's blog through Entrecard. And I think the same goes for many more like me who are a member of Entrecard.

So, it's decision time for Entrecard. Would they create a solid business strategy or would do want to lose their customer base.

40 Hilarious Mitch Hedberg Quotes

Funny Quotes
Here are some Mitch Hedberg quotes to make your day and broaden your smile. We love you Mitch. (I have marked my favs in red)

1. My belt holds up my pants and my pants have belt loops that hold up the belt. What the fuck’s really going on down there? Who is the real hero?

2. I hope the next time I move I get a real easy phone number, something that's real easy to remember. Something like two two two two two two two two. I would say "Sweet." And then people would say, "Mitch, how do I get a hold of you?" I'd say, "Just press two for a while. And when I answer, you will know you have pressed two enough."

3. I haven't slept for ten days, because that would be too long.

4. I think Bigfoot is blurry, that's the problem. It's not the photographer's fault. Bigfoot is blurry, and that's extra scary to me. There's a large out of focus monster roaming the countryside. Look out, he's fuzzy, let's get out of here.

5. My manager saw me drinking backstage and he said "Mitch, don't use liquor as a crutch." I can't use liquor as a crutch, because a crutch helps me walk. Liquor severely f**ks up the way I walk. It ain't like a crutch, it's like a step I didn't see.

6. My lucky number is four billion. That doesn't come in real handy when you're gambling. "Come on four billion! Fuck! Seven. Not even close. I need some more dice. Four billion divided by six, at least."

7. If you go to the grocery store and stand in front of the lunch meat section for too long, you start to get pissed off at turkeys. You see turkey ham, turkey pastrami, turkey bologna -- somebody needs to tell the turkeys, "Man, just be yourself."

8. My fake plants died because I did not pretend to water them.

9. A lot of times, I'll drive for like 10 miles with the emergency brake. That doesn't say a lot for me, but it really doesn't say a lot for the emergency brake.

10. I bought a doughnut, and they gave me a receipt for the doughnut. I don't need a receipt for a doughnut. I'll just give you the money, you give me the doughnut -- end of transaction. We don't need to bring ink and paper into this.

11. One time, this guy handed me a picture of him, he said,"Here's a picture of me when I was younger." Every picture of you is when you were younger. "Here's a picture of me when I'm older." "You son-of-a-b***h! How'd you pull that off? Lemme see that camera!"

12. Wearing a turtleneck is like being strangled by a really weak guy, all day. Wearing a backpack and a turtleneck is like a weak midget trying to bring you down.

13. I want to hang a map of the world in my house then I’m gonna put pins into all the locations that I’ve traveled to. But first I’m gonna have to travel to the top two corners of the map so it won’t fall down.

14. I order the club sandwich all the time, but I'm not even a member, man. I don't know how I get away with it.

15. I was walking by a dry cleaner at 3 a.m., and it said "Sorry, we're closed." You don't have to be sorry. It's 3 a.m., and you're a dry cleaner. It would be ridiculous for me to expect you to be open. I'm not gonna walk by at ten and say, "Hey, I walked by at three, you guys were closed. Someone owes me an apology. This jacket would be halfway done!"

16. You know, I'm sick of following my dreams, man. I'm just going to ask where they're going and hook up with 'em later.

17. I like rice. Rice is great when you're hungry and you want 2,000 of something.

18. I got a king sized bed. I don't know any kings, but if one came over, I guess he'd be comfortable. "Oh, you're a king, you say? Well you won't believe what I have in store for you! It's to your exact specifications! I believe I can set up your lady friend, too!"

19. I'm against picketing, but I don't know how to show it.

20. If you have dentures, don't use artificial sweetener, cause you'll get a fake cavity.

21. Here's a thought for sweat shop owners: Air Conditioning.

22. Alcoholism is a disease, but it's the only one you can get yelled at for having. "Goddamn it Otto, you are an alcoholic. Goddamn it Otto, you have Lupis"...one of those two doesn't sound right.

23. My sister wanted to be an actress, but she never made it. She does live in a trailer. She got half way. She's an actress, she just never gets called to the set.

24. An escalator can never break: it can only become stairs. You should never see an Escalator Temporarily Out Of Order sign, just Escalator Temporarily Stairs. Sorry for the convenience.

25. You know when it comes to racism, people say: " I don't care if they're black, white, purple or green"... Ooh hold on now: Purple or Green? You gotta draw the line somewhere! To hell with purple people! - Unless they're suffocating - then help'em.

26. I love my fed-ex guy cause he's a drug dealer and he don't even know it...and he's always on time.

27. I angered the clerk in a clothing shop today. She asked me what size I was and I said actual, because I am not to scale.

28. Whenever I walk, people try to hand me out fliers, and when someone tries to hand me out a flier, it's kinda like they're saying, "Here, you throw this away."

29. I saw this wino, he was eating grapes. I was like, "Dude, you have to wait."

30. The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how good I get, I'll never be as good as a wall.

31. I ordered a chicken sandwich but I think the waitress misunderstood me because she said, "How would you like your eggs?" So I tried to answer her anyhow. I said "Incubated, and then raised, and then beheaded, and then plucked and then cut up then put onto a grill then put onto a bun. Sh*t, it's gonna take awhile. I don't have time, scrambled!"

32. I saw a dude, he was wearing a leather jacket, and at the same time he was eating a hamburger and drinking a glass of milk. I said to him "Dude, you're a cow. The metamorphosis is complete. Don't fall asleep or I'll tip you over."

33. I'm an ice sculptor - last night I made a cube.

34. I didn’t go to college but if I did I would’ve taken all my tests at a restaurant 'cause “The customer’s always right.”

35. When you buy a box of Ritz crackers, on the back of the box, they have all these suggestions as to what to put on top of the Ritz. "Try it with turkey and cheese. Try it with peanut butter." But I like crackers man, that's why I bought it, 'cause I like crackers! I don't see a suggestion to put a Ritz on top of a Ritz. I didn't buy them because they're little edible plates! You've got no faith in the product itself.

36. I never joined the army because "at ease" never seemed that easy to me. It seemed rather uptight, still. I do not relax by putting my arms behind my back and parting my legs slightly, that does not equal ease to me. At ease is not being in the military. I'm eased bro, cause I'm not in the military.

37. My apartment is infested with koala bears. Its the cutest infestation ever. Much better than cockroaches. I turn the lights on and the koalas scatter. I'm like, come back! I want to hold one of you, and feed you a leaf.

38. You can write that down and put a dash in front of it, and put my name at the bottom. Because all I want to be is dashed.

39. I like vending machines 'cause snacks are better when they fall. If I buy a candy bar at a store, oftentimes, I will drop it so that it achieves its maximum flavor potential.

40. I have a vest. If I had my arms cut off, it'd be a jacket.

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